[MA] Bradford College – 5. Denworth Hall

Bradford College, Bradford, Massachusetts – 11 March 2000

Denworth Hall and Theatre

(Note: It took two tries to write this, the morning after our visit to Bradford. Somehow, my computer saved the later Tupelo Pond page over the Denworth page. This never, ever happens. I’m reluctant to say this bizarre error confirms that the ghost in Denworth does not like to be talked about… but I’ll mention it anyway.)

We approached Denworth Hall from the underground tunnels. The Denworth Theatre doors were well-locked, in preparation for the performance that night. We did, however, have access to the stairwell.

I was still fairly certain that the Denworth Theatre ghost stories were colorful only because the people who told them were involved in theatrics. Theatre ghosts are nearly always dramatic, but rarely mean or tragic. Mostly, they’re flamboyant and sometimes humorous.

I didn’t expect any significant encounters, and I was barely interested in getting into the theatre when the doors seemed to be locked. I was eager to get to Tupelo West.

One of our investigators, Ann, found an unlocked entrance. I shrugged and figured, “why not,” as I followed the group.

THE COSTUME ROOM

A short series of stairs led from the landing to a brief, very dark corridor with an unlocked door to the costume room. It was dismal out, there were no windows in this corridor, the floor was dark brown, and there was no reason for the hall to be light. However, there was no reason for it to be as dark and murky as it looked, either.

Ann backed away from the costume room and out of the short corridor, looking deathly pale. She said that she couldn’t go in there.

I was still under the illusion that the Denworth ghost was seriously overrated.

I strode into the corridor, encountering no negative energy until I reached the door to the costume room. As I reached for the doorknob to support me, I was hit with a wave of sadness and revulsion.

Like Ann, I backed out of the corridor. However, the corridor was suddenly lighter, as it should have been in that setting. Ann tried entering that area again, and reported that it was fine now.

The others explored the costume room. I could not go back in there.

Instead, I checked the bathroom on the other side of the corridor. It was as if its threshold shut out the energy just outside its door. The bathroom seemed clear, cheerful, and fine.

I later found out that the bathroom is a relatively recent addition to that area.

THE GHOSTLY GIRL ON THE STAIRS

Then I waited in the stairwell, on a landing, while most of the group explored adjacent areas. My attention was drawn up the stairs when I heard a softly whispered song, or the start of one.

Looking up past the next landing, I saw the shadow of a girl on the wall. It was faint, but this was not a psychic vision. It existed in reality, for anyone to see if they knew what to look for, and where. I half-expected to see a young teen stroll down the stairs, caught exploring the otherwise-locked theatre.

As I watched, the outline became more defined. I began to see a girl’s figure on the actual stairway, stepping from the third step down to the second. This seemed like a psychic vision, but she may have been seen by others.

At first, I saw a fleeting flash of something that was rust-colored. It could be her clothing, or her hair. Watching her was like seeing a transporter problem on Star Trek. I was reminded of the episode where Barclay is in a malfunctioning transporter, and something wormlike was trying to gnaw on his arm. The image was misty as in that episode.

This psychic vision (?) “blinked” in and out, and I caught merely split-second images. The girl seemed to be wearing a drop-waisted dress, with a full skirt that’s a little longer than modern-day clothing. It was like a homemade dress from the Flapper Era. I saw a grey dress, but it could have been a white dress in the shadows, or a black dress that was barely materialized in the vision… or another color altogether. It did not seem to be a print fabric.

The girl had long hair, fairly straight. I don’t know the color. It was not pale like the coloring of the girl in the Academy building.

THE GHOST BEGAN TO SING

Her form did not get clearer past that point, but her voice did. She was singing a song that started “Hush, Little Baby.” Her voice was lovely, with perfect pitch and a quality that suggested that she’d had singing lessons. It had a soft edge to it, which reminded me of Marilyn Monroe’s “Happy Birthday, Mr. President,” but this was a more throaty and clear voice, without any attempt at babylike cuteness.

As she continued to sing, I realized that I’d never heard this part of the song before, but it seemed to segue into an old favorite, which I’ve always called the “Mockingbird Song.” I’ve just never known how that song starts. I think that’s what I was hearing, in Denworth.

At that point, the stairwell seemed to spin wildly around me. I was overwhelmed as an energy surge hit, and I could see that the girl was singing to a doll. It was a large doll, and I think it was wearing a floral dress with a ruby or maroon collar. It was the size of a newborn baby, perhaps the smallest “Saucy Walker” doll of the early 1950’s.

I was struck by the tragedy of it. I was far too close to this girl, psychically. I knew that she had been driven mad by some horrific events linked to the theatre. Nobody that mature (probably 18 years old, or so) sings that seriously to a doll.

Ann speculated that the girl was raped and then lost the baby. I honestly can’t tell what happened. The girl was mad, that’s all I know.

EMF EVIDENCE

After a few minutes, Alan took my EMF meter, and he and James went up the stairs to where I’d seen the ghost. I could see the ghost linger for a moment, then dash up the stairs as her nerve failed her.

Alan apparently got some significant EMF readings in that area, but some (not all) could be attributed to a fuse box (?) at the top of the stairs.

We discussed what we experienced for a few more minutes, and then solemnly left the theatre building.

ECHOES IN THE TUNNELS BENEATH THE BUILDING

We exited through the tunnels, which seemed tame by comparison, now. I felt terribly nauseated by the encounter with the ghost, and knew she was in a frustrated rage because she thought we were deserting her. I had the strong psychic impression that the ghost didn’t want us to leave, but I also knew that we’d not accomplish anything by staying with her.

Ann said that she could hear the girl crying, “Wait! Wait! Don’t leave!” as we walked through the tunnels. Ann said that the girl’s voice echoed in the tunnels.

It was pretty awful.

Samantha asked if there was anything we could do, to help the ghost. I replied that you can help a ghost that is rational but confused. It’s unlikely that anyone can help a ghost that is as far over-the-edge as the ghost in Denworth.

In my opinion, the simplest conclusion would be to tear that building down. Perhaps then the ghost will be released from whatever compels her to remain there.

Next page: An odd but uneventful walk past Tupelo Pond

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